Update: No foul play in Jason English's death

Bonnie Belec bbelec@thetelegram.com
Published on April 30, 2014

The police investigation has concluded into the sudden death of Jason English, whose body was found in a river on a public walking trail in the east end of St. John’s Tuesday evening.

According to a news release issued this afternoon by the RNC, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined English’s death is “not suspicious in nature and no further police investigation is required.”

While the release says the force  will not be releasing the identity of the deceased, Telegram sources confirmed English’s identity early Wednesday morning.

The 34-year-old was a former downtown bar owner and was in the news several times, having been convicted of aggravated assault and at least two offences of failing to have his pit bull properly leashed, which resulted in the death of one dog and the mauling of another.

Around 7 p.m. Tuesday, RNC officers, the St. John’s Regional Fire Department and paramedics from Eastern Health responded to a call of a man in the water.

He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

 

Earlier story:

There was more to Jason English than the criminal history people read about in the headlines, say friends of the young man who was found dead Tuesday evening.

“He was the first one at the park when we were getting ready for a game,” one of English’s baseball colleagues told The Telegram this afternoon.

“He loved to hit and he could hit the ball,” said Troy Croft, player and coach of the Gonzaga Vikings.

Telegram sources confirmed this morning English’s body was discovered in the Virginia River in St. John’s Tuesday evening.

The RNC issued a news release Tuesday evening saying it is investigating a sudden death that occurred in the water along the Virginia River walking trail in East Meadows, in the east end of St. John’s.

Around 7 p.m. RNC officers, the St. John’s Regional Fire Department and paramedics from Eastern Health responded to a call of a man in the water.

He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

English played in the St. John’s Senior Men’s Baseball League for several years and was an accomplished hitter.

On a couple of occasions he led the league and was a designated batter for the Gonzaga Vikings.

“It’s too bad, especially for his mother and family and what they’re going through. You want to remember the good things about someone when they pass, so hopefully this helps in some way,” said Croft.

“He was a designated hitter for us, which speaks to his love of hitting, it was what he wanted to do,” he said.

When English wasn’t on the field, the 34-year-old spent a lot of his time downtown St. John’s where he once owned The Crazy Horse strip club on Duckworth Street and worked at different bars over the years.

He was known to police as far back as 2006 when he was charged under the Dog Act after his two pit bulls mauled an Australian shepherd at the east end of Quidi Vidi Lake.

In 2008, English pleaded guilty to failing to properly tether or pen his dog and was fined $200 and ordered to pay $500 restitution to the smaller dog’s owner.

Two years later he was charged with aggravated assault as a result of biting a piece off of a man’s ear during a fight May 23, 2010, at Spin nightclub in downtown St. John's.

The man with the ear injury worked at the club as a bartender.

Following trial, English was found guilty and on Dec. 31, 2010, was sentenced to eight months in jail.

In October 2011, he was back before a judge as a result of the incident involving his pitt bull.

English was charged and eventually found guilty of failing to tether and pen his dog under the provincial Dog Act, along with breaching probation.

The charges were laid after the dog escaped from English’s back garden and attacked a poodle outside Georgetown Pub in St. John’s on Oct. 6. The poodle had to be euthanized.

English admitted it was his dog that attacked the smaller dog, but suggested someone had removed the rope and latch securing his gate, allowing his dog to escape.

He was fined $200, to be paid to the court, and was ordered to pay $206 in restitution to the smaller dog’s owner for the vet bill. He was also ordered to serve one year’s probation.

A request to have English’s dog euthanized was denied.  

 The RNC is providing assistance to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to help establish the cause of English’s death.

The RNC Criminal Investigation Division is asking anyone with information to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or anonymously via the NL Crime Stoppers website, www.nlcrimestoppers.com.

 

bbelec@thetelegram.com

 

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Earlier story:

Jason English is man found dead in Virginia River

Telegram sources have confirmed the man whose body was discovered in the Virginia River in St. John’s Tuesday evening is Jason English.

English, 34, was a former downtown bar owner and was well known to the police, having been convicted of aggravated assault and at least two offences of failing to have his pit bull properly leashed, which resulted in the death of one dog and the mauling of another.

The RNC issued a news release Tuesday evening saying it is investigating a sudden death that occurred in the water along the Virginia River walking trail in East Meadows, in the east end of St. John’s.

Around 7 p.m. RNC officers, the St. John’s Regional Fire Department and paramedics from Eastern Health responded to a call of a man in the water.

He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

 The RNC is providing assistance to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to help establish the cause of death.

The RNC Criminal Investigation Division is asking anyone with information to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or anonymously via the NL Crime Stoppers website, www.nlcrimestoppers.com.